Brother Number One – Questions

Why did the Khmer Rouge and the Viet Minh not get along if they were both communist parties?

Did the collectivization lead to Year Zero?  Would a Year Zero help implement a solution or interrupt the flow of society?  Did they get this idea from the Chinese or French?

Throughout the book, Chandler shows bias when talking about the Cult of Personality theory.  Would this bias affect the perception of a new reader on the topic when talking about Sar?


Questions – We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families

  1. What persuaded the people to pile up the dead at Nyarubuye?
  2. Gourevitch explains in the beginning that he wasn’t actually there when it happened.  Would this make it a secondary or a primary source?
  3. Who shot down the plane?  Was it the guys that carried on the genocide or another group?

Using Visual Aid

After a detailed presentation, I learned what to do and what not to do. Of the topics discussed, six of them were emphasized.  Of the six, the first is to consider your audience.  One should always keep in mind to be professional when needed as well as understandable when communicating to the audience.  The way one would speak with friends should differ greatly when reaching out to a more professional audience.  Another topic we discussed is how less is more at times.  A presentation should never be just reading off the slides.  The person should be the one giving the information and the slides should be a guideline of topics you wish to communicate.  Another key takeaway point is the use of images within the presentation.  One should always ask “Is this appropriate?” “Does this image promote the idea I am trying to get across?”  Pictures can be helpful but they can always be distracting if the wrong one is chosen.  We also discussed the theme of the presentation, which should always be a clean, professional style of look.  It should not be a poppy colorful one that would further distract the listener.  We also discussed how practice is vital to achieving maximum performance.  The more you practice, the better off one will be in front of the audience.  Last but not least is the topic of creativity.  One should always consider making there presentation unique with there own flavor just as long as it is professional.  The workshop has opened my eyes and making it clear on what a wonderful presentation should appear.

Bloodland 1-5 Questions


How could soviet communist surpass the idea of the national famine tragedy as being a positive “step towards humanity?”  (pg. 66)


Why did the Soviet Union have 25 times more soldiers in their concentration camps when compared to the Germans soldier to prisoner ratio?


Was it normal to have a citizen of the Soviet Union/Germany to help those in the camps that were nearby?


They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else – Summary

From the start of the book, it became evident that the Armenians were victims of such madness due to the history given in the intro of the book.  Suny gives more of an Armenian perspective which is not that surprising due to his roots of ancestry.  Though he does have Armenian roots, Suny does a great job of explaining both parts of the story.  A lot of factors went into why the Armenians were chosen victims.  Of the many, the Tanzimat played a strong role in attempt to have an equal reformation of the Ottoman Empire as a whole.  This would get rid of the millet system that was originally the main function of how the Ottoman Empire was ran.  The millet system was a form of personal law freedom given to each millet, which would usually be a community that shared the same religious views.  Of the millet system, the Orthodox Millet, Jews Millet, and Armenian Millet were the three most recognized.  Though all millet systems were said to be equal, it was evident that the Armenian and Jew Millets were not given the proper respect.  Another key factor that led to the genocide is the Russo Ottoman War.  The Russo Ottoman War was won by Russia which caused the Ottomans to lose many territories such as Bosnia, Bulgaria, Eastern Roumelia, and part of Servia.  This significantly reduced the powers of the Ottoman Empire.  Shortly after this, the Armenians Massacres began in the 1890s in spite of exterminating all Armenians or any anti-muslim, such as the Assyrian.  Not long after, the Balkan War took place (1912-1913.)  All these change of events are part of the reason why the Armenian Genocide of 1915 took place.  The Ottoman Empire had shrunk significantly due to these turn of events and continued to decline in areas filled with Armenians.

Armenians in the area were blamed for siding with the Russians.  Armenians were then portrayed to be a threat to the state which ultimately led to the extermination of 90% of the Armenian population.  One could see why they would target the Armenians, but it was unjust and cruel to exterminate them.

Questions – They Can Live in the Dessert but Nowhere else

What does Raison d’etat mean?  Why does it justify the suppression of rebellion and mass killing?


The text talks about how the millet system came to be and how it separated people into separate communities; instead, why did the leaders not engage in creating a single identity as other nation-states did in Western Europe? (Late 17th Century)


Were the Armenians killed due to their religion or were there other factors that contributed to the mass killing?

Hugo Slim – Chapter 7 Questions

  1. What proper measures should be taken to counter the anti civilian mentality of a small group?   How can it be countered on a larger scale, such as a nation as a whole?


  1. How can Gardner’s model work on the individual “ideational content” of the mind and have it transition to a more “counter content?” If people perceive ideologies differently, how could you be sure it could change the identity of a nation to a more pacifist view?


  1. How can limited war be reintroduced to this generation after years of “just war?”

Hugo Slim Summary

After analyzing this book in the classroom and out, it became evident that this novel is nothing less than what it entitles, Killing Civilians: Method, Madness, and Morality in War.  Hugo Slim aims straight to the point from the get-go of the book.  I also noticed how he divides his book in such a well-structured manner allowing the reader to look from his perspective.  As the book unravels, he slowly progresses on to the more serious matters concerning the innocents and the madness that takes part in their lives due to the “necessity” and how it is justified.

The first chapter is crucial to the rest of the novel due to the historical background it introduces and how war came to be so cruel.  One of the main key points I took away from this chapter is the explanation of “just war” given by St. Augustine.  Hugo slim goes on to explain the views held by St. Augustine, concluding that war is necessary and “just war” is more concerned about the why.  Shortly after, Hugo Slim stresses the importance of the idea  “limited war” introduced by St. Thomas Aquinas.  This idea of “limited war” is focused on how you’re at war.

Later on in the novel, he discusses the distinct differences of who is a combatant and who is a civilian.  During this part of the novel, he mentions the early ideas of Pope Gregory IX.  Pope Gregory IX states that there should be a “list of in-nocens” (meaning not harming) which basically elaborates over who should be protected from the madness of war.  He then talks about Francisco Suarez and how he elaborates over the list stating that women and children are to be protected.  This list is than later extended by Alberico Gentili and his idea of “contingent protection” stating that those who are innocent could be at risk if proven non-innocent. Hugo Slim extends onto this topic in spite of showing the big differentiation of a civilian and a combatant.

What astounds me of this novel is the great amount of detail that is drawn in from many different historical sources. Hugo Slim does a great job of showing passion throughout this novel in spite of getting the reader to understand the perspective of the greater good of mortality.


Memory of Solferino by Henry Dunant

Memory of Solferino by Henry Dunant became Europe’s top read at the time it came out due to the emphasis on humanity and the greater good that needed to be done in order to restore some sort of mortality. Not only did this book help in the creation of ICRC, but also it raised awareness in such a vast manner due to the severity of the truth behind it. Henry Dunant does a great job of putting in several graphic descriptions over the fight in Solferino, though he was not actually there to witness it first hand.   This book also extends to the aftermath of the battle which is the key takeaway point of the Memory of Solferino in my viewpoint. Throughout this fifth-teen hour battle, it is said that nearly forty thousand people were either dead or wounded. Though many came out alive, it became evident that there was not sufficient access to medical help for the wounded. Due to the insufficient amount of medical help needed for the wounded, the resulting was worse increasing in much more suffering or as severe as death. The emphasis in description is done purposely to show just how cruel humanity has become. Henry Dunant realized that something had to be done in order to maintain some sort of order to restore the moral and ethical views of what humanity is. A system had to be implemented in spite of looking for volunteers to help the wounded during war time.

The style in which Henry Dunant wrote this book is fascinating in how more emphasis is placed on the horror of the war but his idea deemed to be far greater in importance. Henry Dunant does a great job of stating a clear problem and later on suggesting a solution.   This is why as Henry Dunant later became know as the father of International Committee of the Red Cross.